First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) on Tuesday 03 February 2015 hosted its 21st annual Budget Review Seminar. The engagement saw stakeholders from both the private and public sector converge at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) to participate in the analysis and unpacking of the 2015/2016 National Budget Speech. Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo, delivered the National Budget on 02 February 2015.
FNBB Acting CEO, Richard Wright said, “Each citizen and/or business should have access to information on how the Budget Speech will affect them. Each year, extensive research is done by the Bank with regards to who in the economic sector would be best suited to deliver the level of quality information we aim to provide our stakeholders. Our panel of experts also give insight into how allocation of funds to the various ministries will affect the macro-economic environment for the year under review”.
FNBB has, for the past 20 years, played an active role in engaging individuals, partners, clients, organizations, and the business community in matters of economic development. The Budget Review Seminar is one of the ways the Bank works towards equipping stakeholders with information, advising on economic participation and ensuring financial inclusion. The Seminar provides opportunity for both businesses and individuals to appreciate the impact of the National Budget on the business and investment arena.
Speakers comprised Sizwe Nxedlana, Chief Economist at First National Bank South Africa; Mr. Rudi Binedell, Chartered Accountant and Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Mr. Lekwalo Mosienyane President of BOCCIM.
Sharing an overview of the global economy, Mr. Nxedlana said the Chinese private debt/GDP had, from 2008 to 2014, grown by 70%.This is one of the reasons which he said contributed to the expectation that India will outgrow China for the first time since the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Mr. Binedell, when speaking to the 2015/2016 Budget Analysis-Tax implications, praised Botswana Revenue Unified Services (BURS) for being diligent with taxation audits, especially in recent years. The Budget allocation Impact on the Business and investment climate was addressed by Mr. Mosienyane. He alluded to the fact that, in order to improve business and investment, there is a need to bridge the gap between planning and actual implementation. These were some of the key areas which stimulated discussion among stakeholders in attendance, a key goal of the Seminar.
As a financial services provider, FNB continues to ensure that communities within which the Bank operates are informed, especially regarding finances and related issues. Based on the feedback received each year, the Bank has seen the need to conduct a budget review seminar.
“We thank our stakeholders for their continued support; our panelists for their time and input; and the FNB Botswana team that helped make our 21st consecutive Budget Review Seminar a success,” Wright said.